Hungarian police investigate firm that made corruption charges

Issues

The Hungarian police have been investigating a case concerning cooking oil producer Bunge since the end of October, the police's communications department told MTI on Friday evening. Officials in Bunge had been complaining since 2011 that some companies in the food business were cheating on taxes, and it was apparently Bunge's complaints that helped bring about U.S. charges of corruption against Hungarian tax officials.

An investigation was ordered on October 21, after news portal index.hu published an article about the allegations made by Bunge, a U.S.-owned company with a presence in Hungary. The news portal said that companies affiliated with the government had approached Bunge offering them the opportunity for strategic agreement in exchange for "channeling back part of the funding provided under the agreement".

The case related to Bunge resulted in the U.S. entry ban, according to index.hu. Bunge said on October 31 that it has met in full its obligations under Hungarian tax requirements and that  it is not the subject of any VAT fraud investigation, despite such allegations in the press.

Late in November, Hungary's Tax Authority (NAV) said it had conducted two investigations based on a report by the Hungarian unit of Bunge, one on sowing seed in 2011 and another on the affects to the food industry in 2013. The office made the statement after Hungarian website hvg.hu reported that Bunge had provided the office with specific, detailed information on suspected VAT fraud in a report sent to NAV early 2012.

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